Protest Leaders Will Swap Volunteers for Professional Security Guards

Police at Protest in Bangkok

Anti-government rally organisers will now stop using volunteer security guards and will replace them with trained professionals.

Protest leader Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak posted on his Facebook on Friday that the People’s Movement had disbanded its security volunteers unit.

They will source teams of professionally trained guards to take over the task of ensuring the safety of demonstrators. He did not say where they would be sourced from.

To date, the rallies have relied on volunteers.

One of the main units performing this duty has been the We Volunteer group, whose members have always been on the frontline at protests. They have removed wire barricades at rallies. Others were ordinary people and students.

Security guards from the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship have also worked voluntarily at some events.

The Thammasat University student activist said the decision had been made to bring in professionals, to better protect protesters from the authorities. The security guards were the “main weapon” in their political campaigns, he said.

However, Parit did say that security volunteers could be called on again in the future if needed.

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